2019 Alumni

In 2019, FYLPRO selected its eighth cohort, a group of fourteen talented, Filipino American young leaders from across the United States and Guam.

See below for their profiles:

Eileen Agahan Igcacenza

Barrigada, Guam

Born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam, Eileen Agahan Igcasenza currently serves as executive director of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce while actively practicing commercial and residential real estate. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Guam where she participated in a number of local economic development projects, including the Guam Enterprise Initiative (One Village One Product) and Buy Local Guam.

Eileen has always pursued opportunities to aid her local community. She served as president of the University of Guam Alumni Association and Rotary-sponsored service leadership organization, Rotaract Club of the Marianas, where she led members to help raise funds for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in Manila. Rotaract was able to purchase relief goods and medium-sized boats for fishermen to regain their livelihood and continue supporting their families.

As a result of her career and service achievements, Eileen was recognized in 2014 as one of Guam Business Magazine’s 40 leading professionals under the age of 40, nominated for the Filipino Community of Guam’s Gawad Ulirang Pilipino Award for Corporate, Economic and Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2015, and received the Gawad Ulirang Pilipino Award for Family Volunteerism with her mother in 2016.


Sergio Alcubilla III

Honolulu, HI

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Sergio Alcubilla serves as Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and focuses his work on improving access to justice and increasing resources for Legal Aid’s clients. Sergio helped implement Hawaii’s court based self-help centers and continues to oversee the firm’s technology driven initiatives. He serves on various committees of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, is a Board Director of the Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association, and is a Hawaii State Bar Association Leadership Institute Fellow. He is currently part of the Hawaii team working on the Legal Navigator platform, a collaborative project of the Microsoft Corporation, LSC, Pro Bono Net, and the Pew Charitable Trusts to develop statewide legal access portals that simplify the process of finding legal help. Sergio is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, the Unification Theological Seminary, and the University of Florida.

Krystle Canare

Arlington, VA

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Krystle Canare is a Program Specialist for the Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development’s SAMHSA funded Center of Excellence on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE). Prior to the CoE, Krystle served as a program specialist for the National Center for Cultural Competence, senior project coordinator for the National Council for Behavioral Health and a health equity consultant for SAMHSA within their Office of Behavioral Health Equity. She possesses over eight years of experience managing programs and training and technical assistance initiatives delivered to diverse audiences to ensure services are efficient, effective, and relevant to the populations they serve. Past initiatives include: CDC’s National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control, SAMHSA’s National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health, and SAMHSA’s Building Recovery to Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy.

In addition to serving as a Board of Director for the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), Krystle serves as Capital Region Chair and Fil-Am Vote Manager for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, President for the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Task Force Member of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns – DC Chapter, Health Equity Ambassador for the American Psychological Association, and Steering Committee Member for the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health. Krystle earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Neurobiology & Physiology from the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Fred Docdocil

Carson, CA

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A Public Relations Commissioner for the City of Carson, CA, Frederick Docdocil is an active member of multiple Filipino American organizations, including the Filipino Community of Carson (FCC) and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). He is a Board Member and Vice President of Kagay-anons of Southern California (KSC); a President Emeritus and current Board Member / VP of Membership for the FilAm Chamber of Commerce of SouthBay LA Area (FACC-SLAA); the President / Chairman of the Board / Trustee for the Philippine Independence Day Foundation, Inc. (PIDF); and a Household Head & Speaker for Couples for Christ (CfC).

Professionally, Fred is the Mabuhay Branch and Business Development Coordinator for Mabuhay Credit Union, which is among the very first full-service Financial Institution to specifically help the Filipino and greater Community in Southern California and beyond with their financial services needs. Fred is a proud recipient of the Top Outstanding Pilipino (TOP) award for Community Leadership, as well as having been among the awardees for Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA.

Personally, Fred is the oldest of Jose Emmanuel & Luz’ 6 children, has been married to his wife June Anne for the past 14 years, and they have 3 children together – Faith Anne (13 years old), Jedrick Alain (10 y.o.), and Franchesca Anne (2 y.o.).


Everett Icao

Chicago, IL

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Everett Icao is a 2016 graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Psychology. An active volunteer in the Filipino-American community, Everett strongly believes and advocates for change in issues of social and economic injustice, community collaboration, and youth leadership engagement. He has served in several leadership capacities through organizations such as The Philippine-American Cultural Foundation, Filipino-American National Historical Society Chicago and Knights of Rizal just to name a few.

In his professional life, he is employed at Cooney & Conway, a plaintiff’s personal injury firm based in Chicago that proudly serves clients who seek assistance when finding themselves at the most vulnerable time of their lives. He continues to grow by aspiring to complete his legal education and one day represent those who need an advocate. Everett continually strives to build strong and positive relationships through his work in his professional and community organizing by involving people from different groups, ages, and backgrounds by emphasizing the importance of educating, engaging, and empowering so change can be met with action. In his free time, Everett enjoys spending his time outdoors and participating in various physically healthy activities.


Joyce Roldan King

Frederick, MD

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Joyce King is a proud Filipino American, born and raised in New Jersey, who currently resides in Maryland. She is the Chief Counsel at the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office. She leads the Frederick County Cybercrimes Task Force, serves on the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and is cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney through the Department of Justice. In addition to prosecution, Joyce manages operations and communications for the State’s Attorney’s Office, provides legal counsel for multi-agency criminal justice policy initiatives and projects, and serves on the Legislative Committee for the Maryland State’s Attorney Association.

This past year, Joyce assisted in expanding Maryland laws on possession of child pornography. She hopes to bring this passion and leadership to produce meaningful change and progress to combat the sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines. Joyce is an alumna of George Washington University, American University: Women & Politics Institute, and the David A. Clarke School of Law.



Bernadette Lim 

Berkeley, CA

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Bernadette Lim is rooted in Filipina and Toisanese immigrant heritage and was born in Los Angeles, CA. As a medical student, community organizer, creator, and entrepreneur, she works tirelessly for the health of under-resourced women, children, and families. Currently, Bernadette is an MD/MSc. student at the Joint Medical Program with UC Berkeley School of Public Health and UCSF School of Medicine. Her master’s thesis centers on working with Filipino youth to identify community health issues and solutions through art, storytelling, and social justice.

Bernadette is the founder and director of the Freedom Community Clinic and Freedom School for Intersectional Medicine. In addition, she is the creator and co-host of the popular podcast “Woke WOC Docs” that tells the narratives of women of color in medicine. She was also the founding Executive Director of Women SPEAK.

For her work, Bernadette has been named as the youngest recipient of the National Minority Quality Forum Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health, California Senate District 29 Women of the Year Honoree, and Pacific Standard Top 30 Under 30 Thinkers in Policy and Social Justice. She graduated from Harvard with cum laude honors in 2016 and was a 2016-2017 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India.


Antonio Moya 

Los Angeles, CA

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Antonio Moya, M.D., M.P.H. is a neurologist and UCLA National Clinician Scholar. A physician of the Los Angeles Department of Health Services at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, he cares for underserved patients. Through his community partner, the Filipino American Service Group Inc. (FASGI) in LA’s Historic Filipinotown, Antonio leads a community-based participatory research project to promote healthy behaviors through media among Filipino Americans with a focus on emergency stroke care. He also is in collaboration to develop a national network of young Filipino American physicians in the U.S. with an emphasis on educational pipeline programs.

Dr. Moya completed his neurology residency at New York – Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience at UCLA, he traveled to the Philippines on a Fulbright Fellowship with a focus on telemedicine and acute stroke units. He completed his medical school training at UCSF as a PRIME-US Scholar, master’s of public health training from the Harvard School of Public Health, and has pursued his research interests in stroke and public health throughout both residency and fellowship.

Dr. Moya is particularly interested in improving health systems in resource-poor areas of the United States, the Philippines, and other Asian countries. He continues to advocate for improved physical and mental health for Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants and their communities in the U.S. and the Philippines. Antonio is also passionate about music, learning languages, and storytelling as powerful tools for healing.


Rizza O’Connor

Vidalia, GA

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The Honorable Rizza O’Connor is the Chief Magistrate Judge of Toombs County and the first Filipino American judge in Georgia. She presides over small claims civil cases, criminal warrant, and bond hearings. Prior to her appointment as magistrate judge in 2013, Judge O’Connor worked as an assistant district attorney in the Southern area of Georgia and recently finished a term as the 72md President of the Young Lawyers Division of Georgia. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia’s Executive Committee, the Executive Committee of the Magistrate Council of Georgia, and the Strategic Planning Committee of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Rizza also serves her local community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cornerstone Children’s Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Toombs. County. She received her undergraduate and law degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In 2018, Rizza was named one of The 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia by the Georgia Asian Times. In 2019, the Georgia Legal Awards named her to their list on the On the Rise 14 Under 40. This year,  she is a part of the 2020 class of Leadership Georgia.

 


TJ Simba-Medel

Bridgewater, AR

Resume

Timothy “TJ” Simba-Medel holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. He is a professional performing artist, creative consultant, and arts educator with pedagogical methods rooted in the art of Spoken Word (2006 New Jersey Youth Slam Team in HBO’s Brave New Voices, 2008 New York Knicks Poetry Slam Top Finalist, and the 2009 Southern Fried “King of the South” Individual Poetry Slam Champion). 

As a 2015 Second City Chicago Bob Curry Fellow, he has become the living embodiment of his ancestors’ wildest dreams. He has understudied Second City Main Stages (A Red Line Runs Through It) and holds stand-up credits in the NBC Breakout Comedy Festival, CBS’s Diversity Showcase, and was a Featured Poet in Fifth Star Honors: A Night Dedicated to the Artists of Chicago at Pritzker Pavillion on behalf of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. His television credits include a guest spot in EMPIRE on FOX and a special guest spot on CNNPhilippines in promotion of Manila Improv Festival in 2017.

TJ was the first Filipino-American Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator for Second City’s Business to Business Department SCWorks, was awarded the Jim Zulevic Award for Community Excellence and became the first Filipino-American faculty member of The Second City Training Center as well as the first Filipino-American faculty member of the historical Annoyance Theater and iO Improv Olympic Theater. In 2016, TJ co-founded and served as Artistic Director of the World Famous Improvised-Spoken Word Collective PREACH, where he has performed at festivals and taught workshops with universities and theaters across the US and in the Philippines. 

He continues to use his platform to serve and advance underserved communities as a creative consultant to community organizations including but not limited to: the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) as Board Member and COVID-19 Task Force Member, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C, and the Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC). His most recent collaboration, in partnership with TaxWhiz Mon Abrea and the Asian Consulting Group, resulted in the release of the TaxWhiz App – a mobile all-in-one application tailored for the Philippine market to make taxes easily understandable, accessible, and convenient to do on the go.

At the heart of TJ’s creative profession is being a teaching artist. While in Chicago he was a teaching artist for the American Theater Company, Mudlark Children’s Theater Company, The Poetry Center of Chicago, Chicago Improv Productions, Silk Road Rising Theater, Theater Unspeakable, and collaborate with After School Matters on numerous programs and events geared towards Youth Advocacy and Mentorship. In his return to Arkansas, he has collaborated with UALR’S Children’s International Program and became the first Filipino faculty member for The Arkansas Repertory Theater.


Philjay Solar

Boston, MA

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Philjay Solar currently serves as the Commissioner of the Asian American Commission for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he sits as Secretary and Chair of the AAPI Young Leaders Symposium. He also is the youngest and only Commissioner of Filipinx descent. He is the son of Ilocano immigrants and was raised in Massachusetts where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Lasell University and Juris Doctor degree from New England Law | Boston where he was the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and Executive Treasurer of the Student Bar Association. Philjay previously served with the AmeriCorps program, City Year, to bridge the educational gap and end the school to prison pipeline. He is also the founder of Fil-Lennials of New England which highlights young Filipinx-American professionals to inspire youth and build a stronger Fil-Am community.

Philjay currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Philippine American Mainstream Advocacy for Non-Partisan Associations, Inc. (PAMANA) where he has contributed to their annual Philippine Independence Day celebrations and Filipinx-American High School Leadership Workshop.

Additionally, Philjay serves as Massachusetts Vice Chair and EPYC Coach for the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA), volunteers for the Massachusetts Youth Leadership Foundation, and was recently appointed to his hometown’s Human Rights Commission. Philjay aspires to develop the next generation of young Filipinx-Americans leaders and lives by the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.


Leezel Tanglao

New York, NY

LinkedIn 

Leezel Tanglao is a New York-based multi-media journalist at the intersection of editorial, product, business development and sales. She currently leads membership and innovation initiatives at HuffPost. Prior to HuffPost, she was consulting with media companies through her company, StatFury, and worked with the Associated Press in Audience Development. She is a Reynolds Journalism Institute Non-Residential Fellow and is working on developing a tool to measure impact. Leezel is also part of the 2020 class of 92Y Women in Power Fellowship. Leezel has also worked at CNNMoney (now CNNBusiness) as Assistant Managing Editor of Programming where she led a global team of multiplatform editors. While at CNN, she launched products like proprietary social metric SURGE. Prior to CNNMoney, Leezel has worked at CBSNews.com, VICE News, NowThis, ABCNews.com, KCBS/KCAL and The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Southern California. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University and a Masters degree at UCLA in Asian American Studies. She was part of the Poynter/ONA Women’s Leadership Program in 2016. She was named 2018 Member of the Year by the Asian American Journalists Association. She has also presented at the Filipino American National Historical Society conferences. Leezel was a 2019 Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) delegate. She is a FYLPRO board of director and is the chair of the FYLPRO COVID19 Task Force. If you’re wondering how to say her name, it’s pronounced LEE-ZEL (not Liesel from the “Sound of Music”).

Earl Valencia

San Francisco, CA

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Earl Valencia is a venture advisor for start-ups and corporate innovation teams where he focuses on growing companies or emerging business units from seed to scale. Based in San Francisco, he is currently a Managing Director for Digital Transformation for a Fortune 500 bank and Co-founder of Cognity Labs, one of the first virtual startup accelerators connecting emerging markets and Silicon Valley tech diaspora. He was part of the Advanced Engineering team for Dell EMC and previously was the Program Manager for Corporate Data at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.

Mr. Valencia was a Business Incubation Manager at Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group, a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in Los Angeles, and worked in VC firms H&Q Asia Pacific in Manila as well as Investor Growth Capital in Menlo Park. He is a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Council and co-founded both QBO and IdeaSpace Foundation, in his passion to contribute to the Philippine start-up ecosystem.

Earl obtained a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Boston University, a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Cornell University and a M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Kevin Zagala

Redwood City, CA

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Bay Area born and raised, Kevin Zagala has seen first-hand the significant impact technology can have on society at a local, state, national and international level, which spurred his interest to pursue a career in the field. As a ten-year veteran of the industry, he is currently a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Reputation.com, and has worked at numerous companies throughout the technology sector such as Life360, Zynga and SalesForce.

Mr. Zagala is also the CEO and Project Lead of the mobile app Bay Area Casual Carpoolers, known as BACC. Despite the challenges of developing a start-up in a crowded marketplace, BACC has a gained a small, but growing market share and is rising in registered users through the efforts of a dedicated grassroots, word-of-mouth community of daily active users despite minimal marketing spend. Kevin graduated summa cum laude from UMT Arlington Virginia and is a member of the Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Society. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, video games, reading and spending time with his family.